In medicine, mastectomy is the medical term for the surgical removal of one or both breasts, partially or completely. Mastectomy is usually done to combat breast cancer; in some cases, women believed to be at high risk of breast cancer have the operation prophylactically, that is, to prevent cancer rather than treat it. In contrast, in a lumpectomy, a lump of tissue rather than the whole breast is removed. Lumpectomies have become the more common treatment and are now the most common.
Last updated: 09-02-2005 16:52:30